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FORESTS AND FOREST PLANTS – Vol.

III - Forest Resource Management - Lingzhi Chen

FOREST RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Lingzhi Chen
Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, P. R. China
Keywords : Forest, resource, management
Contents

U
SA NE
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PL O
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C EO
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TE S
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1. Introduction
2. Historical Review of Forest Resource Management
3. The Status of World Forests
4. Approaches of Forest Resource Management
4.1 Forest Management for Ecosystem Service
4.2 Forest Management for Timber Production
4.3 Forest Resource Management for Non-timber Production
4.3.1 Grazing
4.3.2 Wildlife Conservation and Hunting
4.3.3 Medicine and Food
4.3.4 Recreation
4.4 Restoration and Rehabilitation of Destroyed Forests
4.5 Community Forestry
Acknowledgements
Glossary
Bibliography
Biographical Sketch
Summary

Forest has been regarded as a type of ecosystem. The conservation, restoration, and
sustainable use of forest ecosystems and biodiversity are the basic issues for forest
resource management. A century ago, a large area of forests disappeared worldwide,
because timber production was the major goal for forest resource management during
that time, and only a few people were concerned about the sustainability of forest
resources. There are two different point of views concerning forest: one sees the forest
as a product by human activity, that “people may conquer nature”; the other regards the
forest as a natural product, the construction and usage of which should comply with the
natural rules of forest dynamics. The latter concept is now accepted by most scholars.
Although the sustainable use of forest resources in forest ecosystem management has
been debated continuously, it is still an important strategy for forest management. There
was 35–40 million km2 of forest area in the world estimated by FAO in 1995 and
WCMC in 1996. The increasing loss of forest areas encourages people to consider how
to manage the remaining forests worldwide. Humanity faces serious environmental
problems, and deforestation is one of the major elements affecting human survival. The
establishment of protected areas of representative forest ecosystem in bioregions is a
critical method to guarantee ecosystem service for benefiting present and future
generations. Forest management has to maintain the stability, natural dynamic, and

©Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS)

animals and micro-organisms in a forest ecosystem provide forest products desired by economic development. medicine. Agriculture was the major economic activity before the sixteenth century and a large amount of forest areas throughout Europe. The total state of the use of national forests over the decades can be viewed as implicit evidence that forest resource management of multiple objectives has been reasonably successful. and ecology. and Asia were converted into arable lands and grasslands for grazing. so management could be ignored. The concept of community forestry is that any activity participated in by organized local people including afforestation and production of forest products has to meet the requirements of farmer households and villages. These plants. Thus. and selective logging severely reduces the quantity and quality of natural forests.Forest Resource Management . Northern America. and at the same time protect the existing environment. III . medicines. and may provide alternative sources of timber supply by establishing new plantations. Historical Review of Forest Resource Management The utilization and management of forest resources has a long history. Many countries ban timber harvesting in old growth forests or natural forests. but food. which is an important component of life support systems. different management approaches of various forest types will be adopted according to the forest functions and sustainable utilization desired by society. the forest should be managed as a system if all the functions and products are expected. but clearcutting. etc. The forest ecosystem service is of great benefit to humanity.Lingzhi Chen health of forests. The goal should be that all forest areas are managed for sustainable multiple use if possible. and providing recreational and aesthetic experience. However. forest has been regarded as a type of ecosystem. 2. food. agroforestry has been adopted to produce timber. Trees together with shrubs and herbs under the trees in the forest provide not only timber. No single forest stand is able to fulfill the concept of sustainability in every respect of multiple use at all times.FORESTS AND FOREST PLANTS – Vol. the long-term development of an entire forest is of more significance than the state of a specific forest stand at any one time. wildlife conservation and hunting. ©Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) . The restoration and rehabilitation of forest resources are based on the theories of community ecology. such as timber production with a clear-cutting approach. U SA NE M SC PL O E – C EO H AP LS TE S R S The management of non-timber products. Timber production is a core goal for forest management. which decide the production possibility for any forest products. food. and forest products to meet the demands of local people and reduce the pressure on natural forests. Living organisms in the forest ecosystem can be used for fuel. 1. For all of these reasons. Thus. such as grazing. therefore. shelter and habitat for wildlife. over-harvesting. and recreation is constrained by the external and internal variables. fuels. herbages. sometimes there are conflicts when production of one product causes the destruction of others. population biology. particularly for improvement of our living environment. Introduction The forest is a living system composed of many species of flora. Recently. food. fauna. and microorganisms interacting together and environment in which they occur. Often people viewed the forest as a hindrance to the development of agriculture and animal husbandry.

large amounts of timber have been needed for industrial development and population growth.Lingzhi Chen U SA NE M SC PL O E – C EO H AP LS TE S R S Wood from the forests were prepared for use in fuel. Insular South-East Asia. The Status of World Forests According to FAO and WCMC estimates of 1995-1996. and productive tools. forest resources were destroyed on a wide scale from the middle of eighteenth century through the nineteenth century. with the demand of timber for industry increasing rapidly. The total forest areas of Australasia. During that period. There are two different points of view concerning forest: one deems the forest as a product of human activity. In total.FORESTS AND FOREST PLANTS – Vol. wars have destroyed economic development and accelerated the rate of deforestation worldwide. the trilogy of economic. Canada and Tsarist Russia were maintained. regulated the use of wood products and consumption patterns. Large areas of forest in the southern part of Sweden decreased to considerable extent and forests in the western part of Sweden were almost exhausted. the sum of these three regions had more forest area than all the others. meant that forests were increasingly being destroyed. means of transportation. with over 5 million km2. This rapid loss of forest worldwide reminded us that people should consider the strategy of forest resource management.8 million and 1. a timber risk also occurred in Germany. Russia. and ecological benefits must be harmonized.4 million km2 each. Among the world’s forests. The original forests in the southern and western parts of Finland and on the west coast of Norway also began to be destroyed. and South America each maintained over 8 million km2 of forest areas. respectively. During this period. 90 percent of timber was imported from other countries. Several countries had adopted the strategy of importing timber from other countries and ignoring the restoration of their own forests. but the question of how to sustainably manage forest resources with multiple objectives based on natural rule has been debated continuously. arguing that the building and utilization of forests should comply with the natural rule of forest dynamics. The rapid development of the industries of iron-smelting and glass. with the aim being to obtain the most economic benefits possible. the other regards the forest as a natural product. a series of forestry policies encouraged tree plantation. The core issue of forest management during the later part of the nineteenth century through to the middle of the twentieth century was timber production. when the United Kingdom was experiencing the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. occupying 27% of land area. including natural forests and forest plantations. and emphasized forest management in accordance with the law. Africa had the next largest forest area. Europe and Continental South and South-East Asia possessed 1. there are 35–40 million km2 of forest areas on Earth.7 million km2 of forest area. which demanded large amounts of charcoal in several European countries during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. building. Since then. ©Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) . The latter concept is now generally accepted by most scholars. the least-forested area was the Caribbean region with about 50 000 km2. III .Forest Resource Management . The Industrial Revolution developed social productivity at an unprecedented rate. social. As a result. Only the vast extent of natural forests in the United States. according to the concept that “people may conquer nature”. Forests in Asia and Australia were being cut. where the forest resources were the richest. Lately. avoiding additional energy. 3. North America. and the Far East extended to over 1.

85 percent of forest fires were human-induced. Fires also threatened the temperate forests in Khabarovsk Krai. old growth forests. destroying up to 2 million ha of forests in Indonesia. except for forests in some protected areas. Some of the remaining forests are also suffering from interference in various areas. Although the forest coverage of Europe and China is increasing. Chile. In recent times. and 550 000 km2 of tropical rainforest (with 10 percent of total areas of certain forests) disappeared during the period 1978– 1998.2 million ha of forests for commercial logging. Mining activities are increasing and these have impacts on forests with the most abundant biodiversity in the world. In fact. Mining severely threatens the largest remaining tropical forests in the Congo Basin of Africa. over 2 million ha of forests in 1997. Mexico. The forested land cleared in the Amazon has been used as cattle range. Thailand. the Congolean forests in Western Central Africa. Huge fires raged out of control for several weeks in summer and autumn 1997-1998. the boreal forests in the Far East and Siberian Russia. USA were burned. The largest areas of forest burned are in Brazil and Indonesia. and the world’s largest iron mine in Brazil—carved from Amazon forests—affected about 900 000 km2 of forests. The annual cutting rate in Queensland was 262 000 ha during the period 1991 to 1995. natural forests. In Brazil. Russia. official estimates in December 1997 show that 5 million ha of land had been cut from 1983 to 1993. A large amount of tropical forests in the Philippines. in Northern Canada. the benefits from mining are obtained mostly by developed countries. More than 150 000 ha of coniferous forest were burned in various parts of Greece in 1998. and the moist and dry forest. Frequently. and over 600 000 ha of forest in 1998 were burned by fire. There are five mining hotspots in some of the world’s richest forests: the tropical moist forests in the Guyanan and Andean regions of Latin America. It has also been known for some mines to encourage legal and illegal logging for construction of access roads and power lines. with 55 to 60 percent being destroyed or seriously degraded by 1996. The forest coverage of Malaysia reached 59%. and Central America.Forest Resource Management . Thus. especially in tropical Australia. III . with the Brazilian government planning to develop a further 2. Many national parks and nature reserves with high biodiversity value are threatened by small-scale and illegal mining. Fire caused by nature or human being is a critical factor in forest damage. and 500 000 ha of forested land have being cut each year mainly for cattle grazing. mountain and lowland forests and mangroves in the Pacific Rim. About 16 800 km2 of tropical rainforest in the Amazon were destroyed in 1998 (reported by official sources of Brazil). the worst years for forest fires worldwide were 1997 and 1998. the deforestation rate in Australia has grown.FORESTS AND FOREST PLANTS – Vol. but the tropical forest in Borneo and Sumatra were denuded and nearly 800 000 ha of forest per year were harvested.Lingzhi Chen U SA NE M SC PL O E – C EO H AP LS TE S R S The decline of world forests (estimated at 50 million km2 by the FAO at mid-twentieth century) has been rapid mainly because of the severe destruction of large areas of tropical forests. fires threaten the remaining temperate and subtropical natural forests of China. Massive deforestation was taking place as well in dry forests and woodlands. and other forests with high biodiversity values have almost disappeared. Two-thirds of forests in Sakhalin Island were affected by fires. and at least 250 000 ha of forest in Florida. and 2 000 km2 of forests flooded for hydro-electric power. with developing countries often ©Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) .

Forest resource management should consider not only the components of an ecosystem. the holistic ecosystem approach to forest resource management is being put in practice. energy use. The shrub and herb layers under the canopy occupy the lower space. earthworms. rationally manage. and other invertebrates. Thus. the interaction among biota and with their abiotic environment—eventually affects the entire ecosystem. consumer. since the forest ecosystem is characterized by diverse biota. restore. but also the ecosystem processes. different species find their own niche. or primary consumers. such as fungi. ©Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) . herb. multiple layers. damaging the forest’s health). plant–parasite. If people over-harvest one component of an ecosystem. The litter layer is the most critical place for nutrient cycling. Competition in plants is manifested largely through struggle for light to obtain enough energy for photosynthesis. plant–herbivore. and life cycle. the food chain reveals one of the interactions amongst organisms. carnivores. this is the habitat for most of the decomposers. both with other organisms and with factors in the physical environment.Lingzhi Chen carrying the cost—forest loss. Although a widely-accepted theory of forest ecosystem management has not been defined. A multiple-layered structure of a forest ecosystem consists of tree. Competition in animals is a struggle for food. Multiplelayered forest provides more food. shelter . 4. and rehabilitate global forest resources. or territory. and plants that grow in the shade of others have evolved mechanisms for carrying on photosynthesis at low light intensity.Forest Resource Management . Decomposers obtain energy from litter and debris through decomposition. water. and parasites. There are three major components of the food chain in an ecosystem—producer. and prey–predator. Each organism participates in a number of interactions. population structure. or 3–5 sublayers of canopy for tropical rainforest. habitat. and litter layers. etc. it might affect the others—for example. Animals that feed on other animals are secondary consumers—predators. Since deforestation is one of the major elements affecting human survival and economic development. Animals that feed on plants are herbivores. and functional diversity. shrub. The forest ecosystem contains hundreds to thousands of species with diverse richness. Plants are able to use light energy. forest ecosystem management refers to maintaining the basic structure and function of ecosystems through time for sustainable multiple use. distributed patterns. bacteria. and decomposer. the present situation of the world’s forests has forced us to protect. Approaches of Forest Resource Management U SA NE M SC PL O E – C EO H AP LS TE S R S Scientists recognize that ecology is the theoretical basis for forest resource management. and to enhancing the quality of the environment to best meet the needs of society. The tree layer in most natural forests can usually be divided into 2–3 sublayers. Other major kinds of interactions include competition. The competition for water and nutrients is important for plants as well. and habitat for wildlife as well.FORESTS AND FOREST PLANTS – Vol. and nutrients to manufacture their own foods—this is autotrophic production within the ecosystem. and pollution (air pollution is extending throughout the world. III .

New York: John Wiley & Sons.Lingzhi Chen - TO ACCESS ALL THE 18 PAGES OF THIS CHAPTER. A. and status and trends in forest management. Ministry of the Environment. [This provides the criteria for sustainable management of forest. China: Science Press (in Chinese).] Young P.] IUCN/WWF (1998). General Technical Report RM-GTR-295. [This presents the historical development of forest management in the world. [This presents ecosystem theory and concepts of ecosystem function and service. [This presents the mining hotspots and impacts on forests. Global Biodiversity Assessment. Ecological Forestry: Theory and Practice. from http://www.] Division of Forest Policy of National Forest and Nature Agency (1994). Metals from the forests.htm [This data from the Internet presents the forest areas and their distribution.net/Eolss-sampleAllChapter. (1996). Visit: http://www. III . World Forestry Industry Policy. ed. ed.] Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (1999). State of the World’s Forests.] Hatzfeldt H. An Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Health in Southwest. and Ren Zhuge (1994). Jiru Xue.FORESTS AND FOREST PLANTS – Vol. Arborvitae 7–10.] Heywood V. 312pp. 1140 pp. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/UNEP.Forest Resource Management .eolss. ed.uk/forest/data/cdrom2/conclus. 154 pp. 36. Yunnan Science and Technology Press (in Chinese). A global overview of forest conservation.aspx Bibliography U SA NE M SC PL O E – C EO H AP LS TE S R S Cathy W. China: Northeast Forestry University Press (in Chinese). (1997).] WCMC (1998). 544 pp. H. [This presents forest and ecosystem management. Arborvitae.. Introduction to Forest Science.] Guangxia Cao. Geils (1997). [These newsletters present the details of forest fires in several countries. Strategy for Sustainable Forest Management. (1995). China: Chinese Forestry Press (in Chinese). Dahms and Brian W. The Ecology and Management of Korean-Pine Mixed Forest in NE China. 259 pp. Yongliang Zhu. Xurong Tang. [This shows the succession and restoration of subtropical and temperate forests. FAO. [This presents the concept and principles of community forestry and agroforestry modes in Asia. [This presents forest management in the United States. 65 pp. Community Forestry. January.] Li Jingwei. [This work presents the concept and measures of close to nature forestry in Europe. 315 pp.wcmc.] ©Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) .] Peng S. 95 pp. 120 pp. [This presents the status of forest resources.] Lin Feng Ming. USDA Service. 444 pp. (1994). (1996). (1982). [This presents the trends of forest management at worldwide and a case study of mixed forest management. Forest Community Dynamics of Southern Subtropical Zone.] IUCN/WWF (1999).

Quantitative Classification of Montane Coniferous Forest in Warm-temperate Region” (1992). UNEP. Nutrient Cycling of Forest Ecosystem in China (1997). “The Ordination. planning the development of agriculture.Lingzhi Chen Biographical Sketch U SA NE M SC PL O E – C EO H AP LS TE S R S Lingzhi Chen was born on 20 January 1933. including “Studies on Chinese Arbevitae (Platycladus orientalis) Forest and Its Biomass in Beijing” (1986). Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Studies on Structure and Function of Forest Ecosystem in Warm-temperate Zone (1997). and Vice Editor-in-Chief of Chinese Biodiversity.Forest Resource Management . Biodiversity Working Group. research on biomass. water and nutrient cycling. Several monographs have been published. Biodiversity in China (1993). Editor-in-Chief of Acta Phytoecologica Sinica. a standing member of the Editorial Board of “Chinese Vegetation Map at 1:1 million”. a member of the Biodiversity Committee CAS. and as a visiting scholar working in the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology. III . forestry. Professor Chen is the “Biodiversity Expert” of the Global Environment Facility.FORESTS AND FOREST PLANTS – Vol. energy flow. and litter decomposition of forests. including The Ecology of Beijing Tianjin Region (1990). and “Frontiers in Biodiversity Science” (1997 et al. and studies on the effect of contaminated material on plant and soil and protection of the natural environment in the mountainous regions of temperate zone China.). Professor Chen is also a standing member of the Council of Chinese Botanical Society. Her relevant work experiences are in the following fields: the characteristics of mountainous vegetation types and their distribution role in Chinese temperate regions. animal husbandry. UK from 1979–1981. “The Chemical Element of Planted Forest of Pinus tabulaeformis” (1987). a member of the Editorial Board of Acta Phytoeologica Sinica. and sideline production. and graduated from the Department of Biology. Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel. Forest Diversity and Its Geographical Distribution in China (1997). More than 80 papers have been published. Fuda University in 1954. Study on Regressive Ecosystem in China (1995). and The Effect of Human Activity on Ecosystem Diversity (1999). Institute of Botany. Merlewood Research Station. ©Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) . China. and was the member of Chinese Council for International Cooperation in Environment and Development. in Shanghai. conservation of biodiversity. Since 1986 she has been Professor of Plant Ecology at the Center of Plant Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation.